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Anderson fancies crossword puzzles

Photo by Ethelyn Pearson. Arlene Anderson

Another week and another friend with an interesting story to share with us. Her name is Arlene Anderson and she was born in Hayward, Wis., in 1919.

Her mother died when Arlene was 9 months old and her father and grandmother raised her in St. Paul. Her family name was Seehuetter.

Arlene graduated from Washington High School in St. Paul and attended night classes until she got the degree she wanted. She worked as a secretary for West Publishing Firm.

Friends brought Arlene and Harold Anderson together in 1946 and they married in 1947. Arlene still recalls thinking, "I am going to marry that man" the first time she saw Harold walk through the door. And, like the little red hen, she did. They have three sons.

Harold spent four years in the Army and worked in the Post Office Department. Arlene was the secretary for three Lutheran churches. Harold died several years ago.

Arlene is addicted to crossword puzzles. She buys them by the book. She also enjoys reading and can still read small print.

The Anderson family liked traveling in the states, paying special attention to state parks. Arlene watches news develop on TV and has special programs.

Does Arlene wish for anything? Yes, she is waiting for family to bring her typewriter. She could spend time answering letters with it.

Music is one of the most favorite activities in any nursing home, as it is here. It is the common denominator between nationalities, ages, even backgrounds. This week, I attended a two piece piano and guitar musical duo who performed on both floors, with filled rooms in both places, providing a restful ending to a busy day.

While musical groups have always been welcome, there was one group I'll especially recall. A four-piece country music group was scheduled to play. Most of our residents were already in the big dining room, waiting. The program didn't show and hadn't called.

Only another program director can relate to what was going on with me, eyes trained on the door, ears honed to catch the faintest throb of a motor turning into our parking lot. Then I heard it. Yelling "Hang tight, guys" to the residents, I dashed out to help the late program people in.

How pleased I was to see a lady and three guys, all dressed in western garb, piling out of a van pulling a trailer. I ran up to them, saying "C'mon. C'mon, you're late but not too late. Our folks are waiting. I'll help get this stuff inside."

For the next hour we were treated to some of the best first class country music we'd ever heard. After three curtain calls we had to let them go, with a promise to come back.

After the room cleared, the leader asked "Now ma'am, will you kindly tell me who you are, what place this is, and what are we are doin' here?" That's the first inkling I had that they were the wrong outfit! Strangers.

It turns out they were headed for a nursing home in Perham to put on a night program. They didn't know a soul here. They claimed they'd had a great time and it saved the day for me.

Another unforgettable time I hired two men from a clown club to entertain at a picnic. They came on time. However, one had obviously come from a party and the other one had some kind of heart disturbance while getting into his clown suit.

I called WPD for one, we got the other one up to the clinic, and volunteer Elvin Snyder and I put on their clown suits. They had brought water guns and we had a ball.

I've got pictures.